Monday, January 11, 2016

Joining a Powerball Office Pool? Here’s What You Need to Know!


The New York State Gaming Commission’s Division of the Lottery issued tips to Lottery players considering setting up or contributing to an office pool in advance of Wednesday’s historic Powerball drawing for a jackpot of $1.4 billion.

“Before soliciting names and collecting money toward the purchase of tickets for Wednesday’s Powerball drawing or any other New York Lottery drawing, there are a number of strategic and pragmatic steps that need to be taken into consideration to ensure a fun and positive outcome for all involved,” said Gardner Gurney, Director of the Division of the Lottery.

Here's how to keep things down-to-earth, and avoid legal tangles:

The New York Lottery advises the following:

  • Elect a group leader who will be responsible for collecting and accounting money from the group.
  • Keep an accurate list of all participants, make note of those who opt out and distribute the list to all whose name appears on the list to avoid any confusion later on.
  • Agree on who will buy the ticket and where and when the ticket(s) will be purchased.
  • The buyer should provide a copy of the ticket to all in the group within a specified period of time prior to the drawing.
  • Consider limiting the number of people in the office pool to 10 or less.
In the case of a group winner, the New York Lottery can issue individual checks to up to 10 individuals. Groups of 11 players or more that win have several options:
  • Consider forming a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) and listing each person in the group as a member. The Lottery will pay the prize to the LLC under the LLC’s tax ID number. The group leader would be responsible for making the disbursement to each LLC member.
  • Consider forming a Trust and listing each member as a beneficiary. In this scenario, the Lottery would make the prize directly available to the Trust utilizing the Trust’s tax identification number. The Trust would then make the disbursements to the group.
Groups also have the option of electing up to 10 individuals within the group to receive the prize, making those individuals 100 percent responsible for all tax implications associated with the prize. They would also be responsible for disbursing all funds to the rest of the group.

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